Cosmetology school is a fast-paced environment with both classroom and hands-on learning elements. To get the most out of your time, you’ll need to practice quality note-taking to prepare for quizzes and exams. Here are some tips for recording key concepts in the classroom. 

How to Take Notes in Cosmetology School

1. Sit Toward the Front

The closer you are to your instructor, the less likely you are to mishear something they say or misread something in their presentation. Set yourself up for success by sitting toward the front of the classroom during lectures. During hands-on demonstrations, try to secure a spot close to the action. You also should also feel comfortable asking to see something again if you missed it the first time. 

2. Choose Your Preferred Medium

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As technology becomes more common in the classroom, many students like to type their notes on a laptop or tablet. However, others find writing ideas with paper and pencil helps them better commit key topics to memory. You may need to experiment with both options to see which suits your learning style best.

3. Use Memorable Abbreviations 

You won’t be able to write down everything your instructor says, but you can capture many important concepts using abbreviations. For instance, you might create a lettering system to identify hair textures (“C” for curly and “W” for wavy, for example). Just be sure to use meaningful abbreviations you’ll remember later, or you can set up a key for abbreviations in a separate document or at the back of your notebook to use as a reference.

4. Focus On Main Ideas 

At first, it can be challenging to pinpoint what you should be writing down. Over time, though, you’ll get better at identifying main ideas. You can then use a mapping method where you branch off into other, smaller details from each main topic. This can help keep your thoughts organized and will make it easier to find topics when you refer back to your notes. If the class has a syllabus, textbook, or other materials, you can also look to these for suggestions about main topics.


If you’re ready to start studying cosmetology, turn to College of Hair Design in Lincoln, NE. This cosmetology school has been in business for more than 55 years and offers programs for aspiring estheticians, hairstylists, and barbers, among other career options. Explore program start dates online or call (402) 474-4244 to discuss enrollment.